Chapter 31

Determining Whether Mobile Has Arrived

The first time I heard someone say that “This is the Year of Mobile,” I was understandably excited by it. But by 2011, when it was repeated for the sixth straight year, it did nothing more than make me shudder.

It was always my belief that it would be the brands rather than the mobile vendors who would be in position to define the era as such. After all, companies as large as Coca-Cola and as small as the “mom and pop” in Middle America were the ones determining marketing spends and making decisions on whether mobile deserved a piece of the budget.

Try as we might—and did—Hipcricket and others in mobile marketing and advertising could only do so much to drive demand.

By all accounts, the future is bright. The total amount of money spent by U.S. marketers on mobile advertising and promotions will reach about $56.5 billion by 2015, according to Borrell Associates. That expected figure is more than six times the $9.3 billion that was spent on mobile advertising and promotions in 2010.

But whether we reached the tipping point in 2008, 2010, or 2011 or whether 2015 will really be the Year of Mobile is immaterial to those of us who need to accelerate our businesses today.

Much of what has motivated the brands to move, if not jump, into mobile is the need to follow the consumer. And that consumer has become more and more connected, on-the-go, and demanding to maintain a lifestyle that includes social networking even when the personal computer ...

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